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Bebop Spoken There

Cécile McLorin Salvant: "She [Melissa Aldana] makes us realise how terrible it is to be complacent." - (DownBeat July 2019)

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Today Thursday June 20

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Rd., Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz

Jeremy McMurray & the Pocket Jazz Orchestra - Arc, Dovecot St., Stockton on Tees TS18 1LL. Tel: 01642 525199. 7:00pm. £12.00. + £0.10. bf. ‘Jazz & Tapas’ - booking essential.

Ruth Lambert Quartet - St James' & St Basil's Church, Fenham Hall Drive, Fenham, Newcastle NE4 9EJ. 7:30pm. £8.00.

Heller-Glendinning: Billie Meets Kurt - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm (doors). £6.00. (£3.00. student).

Acoustic Infusion - The Forum, Borough Road, Darlington DL1 1SG. Tel: 01325 363135. 7:30pm. £5.00. Line-up: Alan Thompson (tenor sax); Rick Laughlin (piano); Bruce Rollo (double bass); Ian Halford (drums). Now Abbie Finn on drums.

Durham University Concert Band + Grollingwood Big Band - Durham Town Hall, Market Place, Durham DH1 3NJ. 7:30pm. £10.00., £9.00., £8.00.

Durham University Big Band - Black Swan Bar, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. £6.00. (£5.00 concs.). JNE.

Tees Hot Club w. Gus Smith (vocals); Donna Hewitt (tenor sax), Dave Archbold (keys) - Dormans Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 8:30pm. Free.

Maine Street Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Hollywell Lane, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5NA. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:30pm. Free.

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees TS18 4AW. 8:30pm. £2.50.

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

CD Review: Tommy Smith w. BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra - Modern Jacobite

Tommy Smith (tenor sax/orchestrations) w. BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by Clark Rundell.
(Review by Lance)
Going back to Paul Whiteman, then, through the years, to Alec Templeton, John Dankworth, Gunther Schuller and many others, jazz musicians and composers have tried to fuse the two idioms – jazz and European classical music. The results have varied from the abysmal to the near sublime. This, I’m pleased to say, is closer to the latter category. Smith succeeds where most have failed by making the saxophone a solo instrument as compatible with a symphony orchestra as a violin, cello or clarinet and possibly more so  than an oboe or a bassoon.
Vocalise, by Rachmaninoff, opens up and Smith’s subtle variations could well have been written into the score had the Russian composer been born somewhat later and in Scotland!
A portmanteau of compositions, ostensibly by Chick Corea, entitled, simply Children’s Songs are delivered with inspirational verve.
The Stan Getz/Eddie Sauter, Miles Davis/Gil Evans collaborations spring to mind but this is a Smith/Smith collaboration that loses nothing by comparison. It lays down a benchmark for arrangers with ‘pretensions’ - pretensions that will be unlikely to reach this level.
Smith soars through, above and beyond, yet always with the symphony orchestra sawing away behind him. He could have been blowing in front of SNJO or a jazz club trio in Edinburgh, the result would have been the same – tenor perfection.
There will be few better tenor saxophone records this year.
In fact there will be few better jazz records this year.
Probably no better ‘classical’ records this year.
Truth is, there will be few better records this year.
Lance.
Tommy Smith w. BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra - Modern Jacobite will be available on August 26 (Spartacus STS022)

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